Security tightened in Gujjar dominated Uttar Pradesh districts

May 27th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by admin  

Lucknow May 27 (IANS) Security has been tightened in several Gujjar-dominated districts of Uttar Pradesh following the ongoing violent protests by the community in Rajasthan, which have claimed 37 lives since May 23, officials said Tuesday. Security has been strengthened in Moradabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Mathura, Gautam Budh Nagar, Saharanpur and Bulandshahr districts.

Moradabad Senior Superintendent of Police Prem Prakash told IANS: “In order to prevent any untoward incident, the security has been beefed up in the district. Members of the Gujjar community here have already started staging demonstrations to express solidarity with their counterparts in Rajasthan.”

He added that the Gujjars in the district were resorting to road blockades and sloganeering in order to press for their demand for tribal status.

On the state government’s directives, two companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deployed in the Moradabad division. At least six companies of PAC have been dispatched to Bulandshahr, Gautam Budh Nagar, Mathura and Saharanpur districts, official sources said.

While the Gujjars have been classified as other backward classes (OBCs), they want scheduled tribe (ST) status and a share of the quota pie. Ironically, OBCs get 27 percent reservation and STs 7.5 percent, but the perception is that the community will get a larger share of the quota pie with ST status.

The community had held similar protests all over Rajasthan from May 29 to June 4 last year. Normal life was paralysed and at least 26 people were killed in the violence that seemed headed towards a caste war between Meenas and Gujjars last year.

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